New £20 million fund to grow UK life sciences manufacturing opens

Laboratory

Life science companies can now apply to the new £20 million fund to expand manufacturing in the UK, the government minister Nadhim Zahawi announced today.

Announced last November by the Prime Minister and opening for applications today, the Medicines and Diagnostics Manufacturing Transformation Fund is designed to boost the country’s ability to respond to future pandemics.

With two-thirds of life science manufacturing jobs already outside London and the South East, the new £20 million fund will also open up economic and investment opportunities for manufacturers across the country.

The UK’s health and life sciences industry has a turnover of £80 billion and supports 256,000 jobs.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “This £20 million investment will harness the best in UK manufacturing and fund cutting-edge medical technologies to protect the British public in 2021 and beyond.

“This will not only boost the UK’s already strong vaccine and medicine portfolio but support top quality, local jobs across the country and put the UK in a formidable position to continue responding to the most pressing global challenges of our time.”

Life Sciences Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “Our life sciences sector is world leading and its incredible response to COVID-19 has reminded us of the crucial importance of the sector to the UK.

“I am thrilled to see this fund opening for applications and would encourage companies to make the most of the opportunity to expand their operations and create good jobs as we build back better from the pandemic.”

The pandemic has shown the importance of having a strong domestic medicines and diagnostics manufacturing industry. This new fund has been established to grow and strengthen the UK’s capabilities, as well as encouraging companies to deploy new technologies, build new factories and harness new advances, including bioprocessing, data and using greener manufacturing processes.

To date, the UK government has invested more than £300 million into manufacturing a successful vaccine, and through the work of the Vaccine Taskforce, established in April 2020, facilities across the UK are working at pace to supply the world’s most promising vaccines so far as part of the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history.